Dr Marianne Fenech

Associate Professor MARIANNE FENECH Program Director BEd/MTEACH (Early Childhood)

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6375
Fax +61 2 9351 2606

Website Contact details

Biographical details

I am passionate about quality, inclusive early childhood education for young children. My teaching and research focus on effective early childhood settings through strong management and leadership, and the development of a quality and equitable system of early childhood education in Australia through policy and industrial reform. I have over 10 years’ experience managing and leading services for families and young children, and since 2004, have lectured and conducted research on quality early childhood education. I have strong established links with the early childhood sector, having delivered a number of keynote and conference presentations in Australia and internationally. I am a strong advocate for children and the early childhood teaching profession. I have led a number of submissions to federal government departments on early childhood policy and is Chair of the NSW/ACT Early Childhood Teacher Education Council and the National Early Childhood Teacher Education Network.

Research interests

I am interested in the governing of early childhood services, teacher education, and teachers, and the impact this governance has on the provision of quality, inclusive early childhood education. I utilise Foucauldian and social justice theory to analyse the effects of government architectures (such as regulation, marketisation, subsidy arrangements and teacher standards) and organisational approaches to service leadership, management and workforce development and sustainability.

Teaching and supervision

My teaching, research, and higher degree research supervision focus on the following areas:

  • conceptualisations of quality in early childhood education
  • early childhood policy, including centre accreditation (NQF), teacher registration and the marketisation of early childhood services
  • working with marginalised families
  • child care choice
  • teacher professionalism and advocacy
  • the leadership and management of early childhood services
  • the development and sustainability of the early childhood education workforce
  • child care in the media
  • professional communication

I welcome enquiries from potential Honours and postgraduate students interested in undertaking research in these areas.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Exceeding the National Quality Standard in Long Day Care settings: A behind the scenes study of the hidden work of educators in high quality services Alicia OLSEN

Current projects

Fenech, M., Hayes, D., & Skattebol, J.Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices. 2016 Faculty Research Programs Grants.$7000.

Fenech, M., Davis, B. & Hayes, D. Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices.2016 Dean’s Education Innovation Grants. $3000.

Fenech, M., Degotardi, S., & Sweller, N. What’s best for my child? Parents’ perspectives of childcare quality and early learning as contributors to childcare choice. ARC Linkage 2013-2017.

Fenech, M.Advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: A case study exploration. Supported by Community Chid Care Co-operative. 2014-2015.

Associations

Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network (Chair)

NSW/ACT Early Childhood Teacher Education Council (Chair)

Community Early Learning Australia

Early Childhood Australia

NSW/ACT Independent Education Union

Awards and honours

2017 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching award

Fenech, M., Hayes, D., Davis, B. & Skattebol, J.Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices. 2016 Faculty Research Programs Grants.$7000.

Fenech, M., Davis, B. & Hayes, D. Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices.2016 Dean’s Education Innovation Grants.$3000.

ARC Linkage 2013-2017. M Fenech, S. Degotardi, N. Sweller. What’s best for my child? Parents’ perspectives of childcare quality and early learning as contributors to childcare choice. $163,000.

ARC Discovery 2008-2010. L Harrison, F Press, J Sumsion, J Bowes, M Fenech. A multi-modal investigation of current and proposed structures and processes determining and sustaining quality in Australian centre-based child care. $257,196.

In the media

Fenech, M. (2018, July 2).New childcare policy still leaves vulnerable families behind.The Conversation,http://theconversation.com/new-childcare-policy-still-leaves-vulnerable-families-behind-99145

Caines, K. (2017, March 20). Preschools offering luxury services continues to rise in the inner west.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/preschools-offering-luxury-services-continues-to-rise-in-the-inner-west/news-story/47bc53c501c8cb63b6d2b1dd0a1d8a09

Smith, L. (2016, August 23). Clinton's childcare policy trumps Australia's.http://www.earlylearningreview.com.au/clintons-childcare-policy-trumps-australias/

Graham, L. & Fenech, M. (2014, October 9). Keeping kids in school is not as simple as carrots and sticks. The Conversation, 9. https://theconversation.com/keeping-kids-in-school-is-not-as-simple-as-carrots-and-sticks-31511.

Rossmanith, A. (2011, July). Quality Time. Sydney’s Child, pp. 12-13 (and other syndicate ‘Child’ papers). Expert opinion sought on the Australian Government’s regulatory reforms.

Letter to the editor (2010): Long-term benefits from high quality care. Sydney Morning Herald, August 16.

Selected grants

2013

  • Enhancing student engagement with management and leadership in early childhood through a hybrid model of problem-based learning; Fenech M; Macquarie University/Learning and Teaching Priority Grant.

2012

  • What is best for my child: How parents in Australia think about and choose quality childcare; Sweller N, Fenech M; Macquarie University/Partnerships Seeding Grant.

2011

  • 'What is best for my child’: Parents’ views about quality in childcare; Sweller N, Fenech M; Macquarie University/Faculty Grant Writing Support Scheme.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2017). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Brennan, D., Fenech, M. (2014). Early education and care in Australia: Equity in a mixed market-based system? In L. Gambaro, K. Stewart & J. Waldfogel (Eds.), An equal start?: Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children, (pp. 171-192). Bristol: Policy Press.

Journals

  • Fenech, M., Skattebol, J. (2019). Supporting the inclusion of low-income families in early childhood education: An exploration of approaches through a social justice lens. International Journal of Inclusive Education, Online first. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2019). The representation of the national quality framework in the Australian print media: Silences and slants in the mediatisation of early childhood education policy. Journal of Education Policy, Online first. [More Information]
  • Beutler, D., Fenech, M. (2018). An analysis of the Australian government�s jobs for families child care package: The utility of bacchi�s WPR methodology to identify potential influences on parents� childcare choices. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(1), 16-24. [More Information]
  • Degotardi, S., Sweller, N., Fenech, M., Beath, A. (2018). Infuences on Parents' Child Care Choices: A Comparative Analysis of Preschool and Long Day Care Users. Child and Youth Care Forum, 47(5), 683-700. [More Information]
  • Stratigos, T., Fenech, M. (2018). Supporting parents' informed early childhood education and care choices through playgroups. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(4), 14-21. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Lotz, M. (2018). Systems advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: From the antithetical to the ethical. Early Years, 38(1), 19-34. [More Information]
  • Hinton, A., Degotardi, S., Fenech, M. (2017). Parental knowledge and use of the National Quality Framework in their child care decision making: Informed believers, informed dismissers, and indifferent disregarders. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 42(4), 69-77. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N. (2017). Problematising Australia's Nanny Pilot Program as evidence-based policy: A reconstruction of the problem of childcare. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 52(2), 131-146. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2017). Representations of childcare in the Australian print media: An exploratory corpus-assisted discourse analysis. Australian Educational Researcher, 44(2), 161-190. [More Information]
  • Mackenzie, M., Cologon, K., Fenech, M. (2016). 'Embracing everybody': Approaching the inclusive early childhood education of a child labelled with autism from a social relational understanding of disability. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(2), 4-12.
  • Fenech, M. (2013). Quality early childhood education for my child or for all children?: Parents as activists for equitable, high-quality early childhood education in Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 92-98.
  • Fenech, M., Giugni, M., Bown, K. (2012). A critical analysis of the National Quality Framework: Mobilising for a vision for children beyond minimum standards. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 5-14.
  • Fenech, M. (2012). Discerning childcare quality: Parents as potential informants of policy beyond regulation. Critical Studies in Education, 53(3), 327-345. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M. (2011). An Analysis of the Conceptualisation of 'Quality' in Early Childhood Education and Care Empirical Research: promoting 'blind spots' as foci for future research. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(2), 102-117. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Harrison, L., Sumsion, J. (2011). Parent users of high-quality long day care: Informed consumers of child care? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(1), 95-103.
  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N., Harrison, L. (2010). Identifying high-quality centre-based childcare using quantitative data-sets: what the numbers do and don’t tell us. International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(4), 283-296. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Shepherd, W. (2010). Promoting Early Childhood Teacher Professionalism in the Australian Context: the place of resistance. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(1), 89-105. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Waniganayake, M., Fleet, A. (2009). More than a shortage of early childhood teachers: Looking beyond the recruitment of university qualified teachers to promote quality early childhood education and care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 199-213. [More Information]
  • Grace, R., Llewellyn, G., Wedgwood, N., Fenech, M., McConnell, D. (2008). Far from Ideal: Everyday experiences of mothers and early childhood professionals negotiating an inclusive early childhood experience in the Australian context. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28(1), 18-30. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2008). Regulation and risk: Early childhood education and care services as sites where the 'laugh of Foucault' resounds. Journal of Education Policy, 23(18), 35-48. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Robertson, G., Goodfellow, J. (2008). The regulatory environment: A source of job (dis)satisfaction for early childhood professionals? Early Child Development and Care, 178(1), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Early childhood teachers and regulation: Complicating power relations using a Foucauldian lens. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8(2), 109-122. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Promoting high quality early childhood education and care services: Beyond risk management, performative constructions of regulation. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 5(3), 263-283. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Robertson, G., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2007). Working by the rules: Early childhood professionals' perceptions of regulatory requirements. Early Child Development and Care, 177(1), 93-106. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M. (2006). The impact of regulatory environments on early childhood professional practice and job satisfaction: A review of conflicting discourses. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(2), 49-56.
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2006). The regulatory environment in long day care: A 'double-edged sword' for early childhood professional practice. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(3), 49-58.

2019

  • Fenech, M., Skattebol, J. (2019). Supporting the inclusion of low-income families in early childhood education: An exploration of approaches through a social justice lens. International Journal of Inclusive Education, Online first. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2019). The representation of the national quality framework in the Australian print media: Silences and slants in the mediatisation of early childhood education policy. Journal of Education Policy, Online first. [More Information]

2018

  • Beutler, D., Fenech, M. (2018). An analysis of the Australian government�s jobs for families child care package: The utility of bacchi�s WPR methodology to identify potential influences on parents� childcare choices. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(1), 16-24. [More Information]
  • Degotardi, S., Sweller, N., Fenech, M., Beath, A. (2018). Infuences on Parents' Child Care Choices: A Comparative Analysis of Preschool and Long Day Care Users. Child and Youth Care Forum, 47(5), 683-700. [More Information]
  • Stratigos, T., Fenech, M. (2018). Supporting parents' informed early childhood education and care choices through playgroups. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(4), 14-21. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Lotz, M. (2018). Systems advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: From the antithetical to the ethical. Early Years, 38(1), 19-34. [More Information]

2017

  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2017). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Hinton, A., Degotardi, S., Fenech, M. (2017). Parental knowledge and use of the National Quality Framework in their child care decision making: Informed believers, informed dismissers, and indifferent disregarders. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 42(4), 69-77. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N. (2017). Problematising Australia's Nanny Pilot Program as evidence-based policy: A reconstruction of the problem of childcare. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 52(2), 131-146. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2017). Representations of childcare in the Australian print media: An exploratory corpus-assisted discourse analysis. Australian Educational Researcher, 44(2), 161-190. [More Information]

2016

  • Mackenzie, M., Cologon, K., Fenech, M. (2016). 'Embracing everybody': Approaching the inclusive early childhood education of a child labelled with autism from a social relational understanding of disability. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(2), 4-12.

2014

  • Brennan, D., Fenech, M. (2014). Early education and care in Australia: Equity in a mixed market-based system? In L. Gambaro, K. Stewart & J. Waldfogel (Eds.), An equal start?: Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children, (pp. 171-192). Bristol: Policy Press.

2013

  • Fenech, M. (2013). Quality early childhood education for my child or for all children?: Parents as activists for equitable, high-quality early childhood education in Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 92-98.

2012

  • Fenech, M., Giugni, M., Bown, K. (2012). A critical analysis of the National Quality Framework: Mobilising for a vision for children beyond minimum standards. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 5-14.
  • Fenech, M. (2012). Discerning childcare quality: Parents as potential informants of policy beyond regulation. Critical Studies in Education, 53(3), 327-345. [More Information]
  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

2011

  • Fenech, M. (2011). An Analysis of the Conceptualisation of 'Quality' in Early Childhood Education and Care Empirical Research: promoting 'blind spots' as foci for future research. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(2), 102-117. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Harrison, L., Sumsion, J. (2011). Parent users of high-quality long day care: Informed consumers of child care? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(1), 95-103.

2010

  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N., Harrison, L. (2010). Identifying high-quality centre-based childcare using quantitative data-sets: what the numbers do and don’t tell us. International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(4), 283-296. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Shepherd, W. (2010). Promoting Early Childhood Teacher Professionalism in the Australian Context: the place of resistance. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(1), 89-105. [More Information]

2009

  • Fenech, M., Waniganayake, M., Fleet, A. (2009). More than a shortage of early childhood teachers: Looking beyond the recruitment of university qualified teachers to promote quality early childhood education and care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 199-213. [More Information]

2008

  • Grace, R., Llewellyn, G., Wedgwood, N., Fenech, M., McConnell, D. (2008). Far from Ideal: Everyday experiences of mothers and early childhood professionals negotiating an inclusive early childhood experience in the Australian context. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28(1), 18-30. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2008). Regulation and risk: Early childhood education and care services as sites where the 'laugh of Foucault' resounds. Journal of Education Policy, 23(18), 35-48. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Robertson, G., Goodfellow, J. (2008). The regulatory environment: A source of job (dis)satisfaction for early childhood professionals? Early Child Development and Care, 178(1), 1-14. [More Information]

2007

  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Early childhood teachers and regulation: Complicating power relations using a Foucauldian lens. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8(2), 109-122. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Promoting high quality early childhood education and care services: Beyond risk management, performative constructions of regulation. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 5(3), 263-283. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Robertson, G., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2007). Working by the rules: Early childhood professionals' perceptions of regulatory requirements. Early Child Development and Care, 177(1), 93-106. [More Information]

2006

  • Fenech, M. (2006). The impact of regulatory environments on early childhood professional practice and job satisfaction: A review of conflicting discourses. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(2), 49-56.
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2006). The regulatory environment in long day care: A 'double-edged sword' for early childhood professional practice. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(3), 49-58.

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